My Prediction for Danica Patrick’s ARCA Debut

The countdown is almost at zero. The wait is almost over. In just a little more than 24 hours(at the time I am writing this), Danica Patrick’s stock car debut will be underway.

It’s the moment not just NASCAR fans, but race fans in general, have been waiting for since December, when Dale Earnhardt Jr. hired the Indycar diva to drive a race car for his team. “How will Danica do?” has been the question swirling around NASCAR Nation for almost 2 months. Tomorrow, we get our answer.

My prediction: She makes it 10 laps.

I’m am not a Nostrodomus by any means, a fact I have been reminded of several times since I boldly predicted Brian Vickers to win the 2009 Cup title just before the Chase started.

My prediction is probably way of base, and perhaps even a little insulting. But there are several reasons why I believe the Indycar diva doesn’t last more than 10 laps.

First, her inexperience. She seems to be approaching this race, and this whole venture, like it’s no big deal. If this is going to work out, Patrick needs a reality check, and her inexperience may be enough to send her for a ride within the first 10 laps.

Second, the competition. Even if Patrick doesn’t take herself out, there are still about 30 other drivers on the track who don’t have any clue what they are doing. There will be wrecks, and the only way Patrick will be able to dodge them is if she is out front. Something I have a difficult time picturing her doing.

Finally, the mechanics of the car. This goes hand-in-hand with her inexperience, only it refers to her ability to manage the car; not just drive it. Patrick has never had to go up through the gears at a rapid rate in a stock car, so the start of the race could prove to be treacherous. How she handles pit stops is another thing. Remember, Patrick comes from a league where everything is controlled by buttons, so managing the car could prove to be difficult for her.

Like I said, my prediction may be way off base. But we shall see. How do you think she will perform?

Tags: Danica Patrick